Baldur’s Gate 3: Top 10 Weapon Types Ranked

We ranked the top 10 best weapon types in Baldur’s Gate 3, giving you tips for using them and which weapons you should obtain.

BG3 - Top 10 Weapon Types Ranked - Baldur's Gate 3

In Baldur’s Gate 3, mastering the art of combat is essential for survival. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or just beginning your journey, the choice of weaponry can significantly impact your effectiveness in battle. This guide delves into the top weapon types ranked in Baldur’s Gate 3, considering their strengths, versatility, and suitability for different playstyles.

This guide has been updated for the patch 6 version of Baldur’s Gate 3.

What are the Top 10 Ranked Weapon Types in Baldur’s Gate 3?

The best weapon types in Baldur’s Gate 3 are Greatsword, Quarterstaff, and Longbows.

Greatswords are the best overall weapon because they can deal the most damage due to feats and high strength ability scores. Additionally, melee martial classes can attack many times per turn with Extra Attack, Action Surge, and Great Weapon Master, giving them an advantage when dealing the most damage possible. Second is the Quarterstaff, which gives powerful spells without using spell slots and buffs like elemental resistance. Third is the Longbow due to its range, arrow bonuses, and power with oils like Combustion.

The 10 best weapon types ranked from best to worst in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  1. Greatsword – the most damage-dealing weapon in BG3.
  2. Quarterstaff – best weapon for spell casters with free spells and powerful bonuses.
  3. Longbow – is the best range weapon, with great choices throughout BG3.
  4. Hand Crossbow – dual-wielded range weapon that can use bonus actions for extra damage.
  5. Dagger – the high burst damage piercing weapons.
  6. Shortbow – great weapon for buffs that can be equipped just for bonuses.
  7. Rapier – ideal for duelling builds and classes with one hand.
  8. Shortsword – made for burst damage with set bonuses lowering critical dice roll.
  9. Longsword – versatile weapon that can be used for offensive or defensive purposes.
  10. Trident – versatile, throwable, and perfect for Barbarian Bersker build.

10 Trident

Baldur's Gate 3 The Sparky Points
Baldur's Gate 3 Nyrulna

Trident weapon features in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Martial Melee Weapon
  • Damage Type – strength modifier, piercing damage
  • Versatile
  • Thrown
  • Dippable
  • Range 1.5 meters
  • Weapon Actions – Rush Attack, Piercing Strike, Disarming Attack
  • Best Classes – Barbarian, Cleric, Fighter, Monk, Paladin

With its versatility, throwable nature, and suitability for Barbarian Berserker builds, the Trident holds a unique place among BG3’s arsenal. Its ability to adapt to various combat scenarios makes it a weapon of choice for those who value adaptability on the battlefield. What makes the weapon type powerful is a combination of weapon and armour in Act 3.

Baldur's Gate 3 Bhaalist Armour BG3

Specifically, obtaining the Bhaalist Armour grants an Aura of Murders to all enemies within 2 meters. This debuff doubles your piercing damage unless they are resistant or immune to that damage type. Thus, you can pair the Nyrulna legendary Trident with any melee strength build and reach incredibly high damage.

BG3 Tavern Brawler Feat Explained

Additionally, the Nyrulna automatically returns to the user after being thrown. When throwing something, your build can select the Tavern Brawler feat, which adds your strength modifier twice. Even throwing the weapon point plant with Bhaalist Armour can create devastating damage and be used repeatedly per turn.

Tridents aren’t higher on this weapon type ranking list because they are not found throughout BG3 three Acts. This powerful weapon and armor combination only comes at the end of Baldur’s Gate 3, holding the weapon type from ranking higher on the top 10 list.

Best Tridents in Baldur’s Gate 3

Below are the best Tridents to obtain in Baldur’s Gate 3:

9 Longsword

BG3 Phalar Aluve - Baldur’s Gate 3 The Most Overpowered Weapon You’re Not Using
Baldur's Gate 3 Cruel Sting BG3

Longsword weapon features in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Martial Melee Weapon
  • Damage Type – strength modifier, slashing damage
  • Versatile
  • Dippable
  • Range – 1.5 meters
  • Weapon Actions – Lacerate, Rush Attack, Pommel Strike
  • Best classes – Bard, Cleric, Fighter, Paladin

Versatility personified, the Longsword offers a balanced blend of offense and defense. The strength of the Longsword is its versatility, allowing you to equip it with two hands for increased damage or one combined with a shield. Like the Trident and Quarterstaff, the Longsword weapon type allows users to play both offensive and defensive.

BG3 Phalar Aluve Melody - Baldur’s Gate 3 The Most Overpowered Weapon You’re Not Using

Act 1 contains one of the most overpowered weapons in Baldur’s Gate 3, the Phalar Aluve. This Longsword has two unique weapon actions, with Shriek granting a 6-meter radius debuff to enemies within. Each hit against these enemies produces extra thunder damage and lowers their saving rolls. While the damage for the weapon is comparable to other Greatswords on this list, the debuff and buffs the weapon provides give it flexibility and utility for any party composition.

The downside of the Longsword is that it requires martial melee weapon proficiency, which limits individual classes. Moreover, the weapons found later in Act 3 aren’t nearly as powerful as Greatswords. However, this Act 1 weapon can positively change your BG3 campaign and is worth ranking high on our Weapons Types guide.

Best Longswords in Baldur’s Gate 3

Below are the best Longswords to obtain in Baldur’s Gate 3:

8 Shortsword

Knife of the Undermountain King Baldur’s Gate 3 BG3
BG3 Sword of Life Stealing
BG3 Crimson Mischief

Shortsword weapon features in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Martial Melee Weapon
  • Damage Type – strength or dexterity modifier, piercing damage
  • One-Handed
  • Finesse
  • Light
  • Dippable
  • Range – 1.5 meters
  • Weapon Actions – Piercing Strike, Flourish
  • Best Classes – Bard, Ranger, Rogue

Designed for burst damage, the Shortsword has set bonuses that lower critical dice rolls. The strength of the Shortsword is it uses either strength or dexterity modifier or piercing damage. Thus, you can use a variety of classes and builds that fit your playstyle. Moreover, this weapon is one-handed and can be equipped in your main hand with an off-hand dagger for a devastating dual-wielding combination.

A good feat to run with Shortswords is Dual Wielder, which grants a +1 bonus to Armour Class while wielding a melee weapon in each hand. Dual Wielder helps maintain high survivability while being an offensive melee damage dealer. Moreover, the off-hand attack consumes a bonus action, which is great for builds using the Thief subclass on a Rogue. With only three levels invested into a multiclass build, you gain an additional bonus action perfect for additional damage via offhand attacks.

Shortswords were not ranked higher on our top 10 weapon types list because of the limited range, martial melee proficiency, and better options in Baldur’s Gate 3. However, running Crimson Mischief in your main hand and Bloodthirst in your offhand with Bhaalist Armour will produce staggering damage at the end game.

Best Shortsword in Baldur’s Gate 3

Below are the best Shortsword to obtain in Baldur’s Gate 3:

7 Rapier

Baldur's Gate 3 Sword of Screams BG3
BG3 Infernal Rapier
Legendary Rapier - Duellist's Prerogative - Baldur’s Gate 3 - BG3

Rapier weapon features in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Martial Melee Weapon
  • Damage Type – strength or dexterity modifier, piercing damage
  • One-handed
  • Finesse
  • Dippable
  • Range – 1.5 meters
  • Weapon Actions – Piercing Strike, Weakening Strike, Flourish
  • Best Classes – Bard, Warlock

Tailored for dueling builds and classes favoring one-handed combat, the Rapier combines finesse with lethality. Its swift strikes make it ideal for those relying on agility and precision to overcome opponents. Like Shortswords, Rapiers also use either strength or dexterity modifiers and piercing damage. Thus, these weapons can be combined with Bhaalist Armour at the end game on either dexterity or strength builds.

Moreover, the Rapier requires martial melee weapon proficiency but does base 1d8 damage rather than 1d6. Therefore, you gain a slight advantage in damage. Rapiers are also one-handed, non-heavy weapons. You can select the Dual Wielder feat and gain dual wielding of Rapiers in both hands. Regardless of set bonuses, this damage will be higher than a standard double shortsword setup.

The Defensive Duellist feat with only one Rapier equipped is also a powerful combination. When you are attacked with a melee attack while wielding a Finesse weapon, you are proficient in it. You can use a Reaction to increase your Armour Class by your proficiency bonus, possibly causing the attack to miss. This gives your builds an advantage in terms of damage and survival that the Shortsword doesn’t have.

The downsides of Rapiers are their limited weapon availability and specific build focus. However, we still consider Rapier one of the strongest weapons in Baldur’s Gate 3 for melee damage dealers.

Best Rapier in Baldur’s Gate 3

Below are the best Rapier to obtain in Baldur’s Gate 3:

6 Shortbow

BG3 Bow of the Banshee
Baldur's Gate 3 Darkfire Shortbow
Blightbringer - Baldur's Gate 3 - BG3

Shortbow weapon features in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Simple Ranged Weapon
  • Damage Type – Dexterity modifier, piercing damage
  • Two-Handed
  • Dippable
  • Range – 18 meters
  • Weapon Actions – Hamstring Shot
  • Best Classes – Rogue, Ranger

While not as potent in raw damage, the Shortbow is an adaptable weapon for buffs and bonuses. Shortbows are widely available throughout BG3’s three acts with powerful set bonuses. Unlike Armour Proficiency, you can equip a non-proficiency ranged weapon and not lose access to spell casting. Thus, any class can back-bar a Shortbow and gain set bonuses without firing an arrow.

Act 1 Bow of Awareness grants passive initiative. This is helpful for classes with lower Dexterity in heavy armour who want to attack earlier in combat order. The best bow of all is the Darkfire Shortbow. It grants both Fire and Cold resistance, lowering damage by half for those elemental types. If that weren’t enough, the Darkfire Shortbow grants the user a Haste spell once per long rest.

The shortbow’s weakness is its damage output compared to Handcross Bows and Longbows. However, the set bonuses alone make it worth ranking high on our best weapon type list.

Best Shortbow in Baldur’s Gate 3

Below are the best Shortbow to obtain in Baldur’s Gate 3:

5 Dagger

Baldur's Gate 3 Hunter's Dagger
Baldur's Gate 3 Rhapsody
Baldur's Gate 3 Bloodthirst

Dagger weapon features in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Simple Melee Weapon
  • Damage Type – strength or dexterity modifier, piercing damage
  • One-Handed
  • Finesse
  • Light
  • Thrown
  • Dippable
  • Range – 1.5 meters
  • Weapon Actions – Piercing Strike
  • Best Class – Rogue

Known for its high burst damage and piercing capabilities, the Dagger is favored by those seeking to dispatch their adversaries swiftly. The advantage of Dagger over Shortswords is it requires simple weapon proficiency rather than Martial. Therefore, many more classes and builds can access this weapon’s powerful set bonuses and damage.

Daggers and shortswords are finesse, which uses either dexterity or strength modifiers to do piecing damage. While the damage is lower than Shortswords, the set bonuses, combinations, and availability throughout different Acts make it a better weapon type.

Baldur's Gate 3 Bhaalist Armour BG3

The meta loadout for dual wielding at the end game is Crimson Mischief’s main hand, Bloodthirst off-hand, with Bhaalist Armour on the body. Then, you can equip the Shade-Slayer Cloak to lower critical roll while hiding by another 1. The Surgeon’s Subjugation Amulet can be combined with this setup to give a paralyzed automatic free stun once per long rest. What you create is one of the strongest, most deadly builds in BG3, thus causing Daggers to rank high on our list.

Best Dagger in Baldur’s Gate 3

Below are the best Hand Dagger to obtain in Baldur’s Gate 3:

4 Hand Crossbow

BG3 Hand Crossbow +1
BG3 Hellfire Handcrossbow
BG3 Ne'er Misser

Hand Crossbow weapon features in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Martial Ranged Weapon
  • Damage Type – dexterity modifier, piercing damage
  • One-Handed
  • Light
  • Dippable
  • Range – 15 meters
  • Weapon Actions – Piercing Shot, Mobile Shot
  • Best Classes – Bard, Rogue, Ranger

Hand Crossbow’s ability to utilize bonus actions for extra damage makes it a formidable choice for those who prefer ranged combat. Like Shortswords and Daggers, Hand Crossbow can use a bonus action for extra damage when attacking. This gives the weapon added value when duel-wielding and has a 15-meter range. Therefore, players can keep at safe distances and, when treated, run or hide.

BG3 Sharpshooter Feat Explained

Ranged weapons also have an advantage using the Sharpshooter feat. Ranged weapon attacks with weapons you are Proficient with have a -5 penalty to their Attack roll but deal an additional 10 damage. This added damage means they can produce more per-turn damage, especially if you have a bonus action like the Rogue Thief combination. Additionally, the Crossbow Expert feat can be helpful using this weapon type. When you make crossbow attacks within melee range, the attack rolls don’t have a Disadvantage. This feat gives you flexibility at any range and is an excellent choice for range damage dealers.

The drawback of the Hand Crossbow is set bonuses, specifically the lack of a legendary weapon. Therefore, you have limited powerful set bonuses from your weapons and rely heavily on arrows, oils, elixirs, and other items to buff your overall damage. However, we still recommended the hand crossbows as a top 10 weapon type ranked in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Best Hand Crossbow in Baldur’s Gate 3

Below are the best Hand Crossbows to obtain in Baldur’s Gate 3:

3 Longbow

Titanstring Bow - Baldur's Gate 3 - BG3

Longbow weapon features in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Martial Range Weapon
  • Damage Type – dexterity modifier, piercing damage
  • Two-Handed
  • Dippable
  • Range – 18 meters
  • Weapon Actions – Hamgstring Shot
  • Best Classes – Ranger, Rogue, Fighter

For those who prefer to engage their foes from afar, the Longbow is the epitome of ranged weaponry. With an 18-meter range and excellent set bonuses, this two-handed marital range weapon is among the best in Baldur’s Gate 3.

BG3 Elixir of Hill Giant Strength

An early-game combination is the Titanstring bow with the Elixir of Hill Giant Strength. This boosts your strength, while the Titanstring bow adds your strength modifier to overall damage. That combination alone damages you more than almost any weapon early in BG3.

BG3 Club of Hill Giant Strength

Taking it one step further, you combine the Club of Hill Giant Strength and a Shield to boost strength. Then, your range weapon damage dealer uses the Elixir of Bloodlust. Now, anytime you kill an enemy, you gain an additional action in combat. Moreover, you can gain another action with Potion of Speed for three actions in one turn! On a Ranger, you gain an extra attack at level 5, giving every action two attacks with weapons rather than one.

Longbow and Ranger Power

The Longbow and Ranger are the most potent solo classes in Baldur’s Gate 3 because of their damage, stealth, and high initiative. Special Arrows have added elemental effects that give your Longbow extraordinary power. Combine Oil of Combustion with the Arrow of Many Targets to debuff enemies with flammable oil. With a second attack, use a Fire or Smokebomb Powder arrow to destroy an entire army of enemies within one action.

If that weren’t good enough, there are gear sets in Act 1 that help you reach high Dexterity, like The Graceful Cloth. With permanent bonuses, players can reach 20 to 22 Dexterity with the Titanstring Bow. This combination on a Ranger deals so much damage on turn one that you will likely eliminate all targets without ever being touched.

However, the Longbow isn’t the highest damage-dealing weapon and requires martial weapon proficiency. This limits its availability, especially with spellcasters or non-marital builds.

Best Longbow in Baldur’s Gate 3

Below are the best Longbow to obtain in Baldur’s Gate 3:

2 Quarterstaff

Baldur's Gate 3 The Spellsparkler
BG3 Incandescent Staff
BG3 - Markoheshkir - Baldur's Gate 3

Quarterstaff weapon features in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Simple Melee Weapon
  • Damage Type – strength modifier, bludgeoning damage
  • Versatile
  • Dippable
  • Range – 1.5 meters
  • Weapon Actions – Topple
  • Best Classes – Cleric, Druid, Sorc, Wizard, Warlock

A spellcaster’s best weapon type, the Quarterstaff offers free spells and powerful bonuses. The strength of the quarterstaff is its versatility, allowing you to combine it with a shield. Early in Baldur’s Gate 3, a powerful combination uses a Half-Elf or Human race to gain shield proficiency on spellcasters. You then roll your character’s Dexterity to 16 and combine it with Mage Armour. Equip a shield during the prologue, and your character will have an 18 Armour Class! That’s as much AC as heavy armour users wearing Adamantine Scale Mail within minutes of playing BG3.

Baldur's Gate 3 Magic Missile Spell

Then, in Act 1 obtain one of three powerful staffs that give set bonues. The Spellsparkler was recently buffed, and extra lighting damage per light charge was dealt with for the user. You gain lighting charges by dealing damage with spells or cantrips. Upcasting Magic Missile gives you additional darts, thus triggering lighting damage, and with five charges, 1d8 bursts. This combination carries your damage, and that’s just Act 1

Act 3 Quarterstaffs

BG3 Spellcrux Amulet

In Act 3, the Markoheshkir and Staff of Spellpower can negate the cost of a spell. Thus, you can cast a powerful summon like Planar Ally, which lasts until a long rest, and still use another level 6 spell slot. Obtain the Spellcrux Amulet in Act 2; you can have up to 3 level 6 spells!

Staff of Cherished Necromancy Life Essence BG3

Possibly the best combination is using the Staff of Cherished Necromancy, which grants free necromancy spells after a kill in combat. You can then recast Blight, Circle of Death, and others for free without using a spell slot. While these combinations require gear-specific items, they are truly awe-inspiring and powerful, and Quarterstaff is the second-best weapon type in all of Baldur’s Gate 3.

The weakness of the Quarterstaff is the weapon itself is merely used for set bonuses. There is almost zero reason to attack with a quarterstaff, and it’s reliant on players obtaining powerful weapons to be most effective. However, with the right gear, items, and equipment, Quarterstaffs are one of the best weapon types in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Best Quarterstaff in Baldur’s Gate 3

Below are the best Quarterstaff to obtain in Baldur’s Gate 3:

1 Greatsword

BG3 Jorgoral's Greatsword
BG3 Baldur's Gate 3 Soulbreaker Greatsword
Baldur's Gate 3 Balduran's Giantslayer

Greatsword weapon features in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Martial Melee Weapon
  • Damage Type – strength modifier, slashing damage
  • Two-Handed
  • Dippable
  • Range – 1.5 meters
  • Weapon Actions – Pommel Strike, Lacerate, Cleave
  • Best Classes – Barbarian, Fighter, Paladin

Renowned for its sheer power, the Greatsword is the most damage-dealing weapon type in Baldur’s Gate 3 because of set bonuses, strength ability score, and feats.

Baldur's Gate 3 Elixir of Cloud Giant Strength

When adding ability score, strength is unique in that players can reach 27 strengtht through an elixir of Cloud Giant or 24 through permanent bonuses. A higher ability score equals more damage, giving the Greatsword weapon type an advantage over other weapons.

BG3 Great Weapon Master Feat Explained

Moreover, two feats specifically add to Greatsword’s weapon type overall prowess: Great Weapon Master and Savage Attacker. Like Sharpshooter, Great Weapon Master adds 10 damage to attack rolls at the expense of a -5 penalty to landing an attack. Thus, you end up with a lower percentage chance of landing an attack but higher damage. The lower change to land can be mitigated through a permanent Blessed Bonus and 24 or higher strength.

Another unique advantage of Great Weapon Master is that you gain a bonus action attack if you critical strike or kill a target. No other feat adds action utility like Great Weapon Master and overall damage. If that weren’t enough, the Savage Attacker feat allows you to roll your damage dice twice and use the highest result, ensuring high burst damage.

Greatsword Combinations
BG3 Oil of Accuracy
Elixir of Bloodlust - Baldur's Gate 3

The best combination for creating the most damage build for the Greatsword is using a class with Extra Attack (Barbarian, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger). The extra attack class feature gives two attacks per action. Next, combine an oil and elixir before combat, like Oil of Accuracy and Bloodlust Elixir. This combination grants a +2 attack roll and an extra action per kill, once per round.

Baldur's Gate 3 Martial Exertion tooltip
BG3 Potion of Speed

Continuing, we want to use the gloves of Martial Exertion, Potion of Speed, and Action Surge from the Fighter class (two levels). The combination will produce five actions in a single turn, with most actions giving two attacks per. If you kill a target (and you will), you will trigger Elixir of Bloodlust, another action, and Great Weapon Master, a bonus action attack. When optimized, nothing can be the raw power of the action-based combination of the Greatsword, and we haven’t even talked about weapon bonuses!

Greatswords Explained
Baldur's Gate 3 Sword of Chaos

With many options throughout BG3, Greatsword bonuses are ultra-powerful compared to other weapon types. Imagine using the above combination to attack over ten times in one turn, combined with the Sword of Chaos, regaining 1-6 hit points each attack. You can then play ultra-aggressively and let your overall damage produce passive healing, making you nearly an unstoppable force.

Baldur's Gate 3 Balduran's Giantslayer

In Act 1, you can use the Command Drop spell on the GIthyanki and obtain a legendary sword of the Astral Planes. Your entire playthrough with a +3 weapon makes the game easy. If that weren’t enough, the Giantslayer legendary sword doubles the damage from your strength modifier. You also gain an advantage on attack rolls against target creatures and can increase your size and temporary HP with Giant Form.

Regarding weapon types, Greatswords have many advantages over any other weapon type in Baldur’s Gate 3. Thus, we ranked them number one, though the range can be challenging if you play only melee. If you haven’t tried an aggressive greatsword build, now is the time, and we recommend a Fighter to keep it simple and rewarding.

Best Greatswords in Baldur’s Gate 3

Below are the best Greatswords to obtain in Baldur’s Gate 3:

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